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A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today

A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today
Author: Andelman - David A.
ISBN 13: 9780471788980
ISBN 10: 471788988
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 2007
Format: N/A
Pages: N/A
List Price: N/A

A Shattered Peace

For more than half a century, it has been widely recognized that the unfettered revenge against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire that was the cornerstone of the Treaty of Versailles created the circumstances that led inevitably to World War II. Less acknowledged and understood is the treaty's profound impact on many other parts of the world—an impact that echoes to this day in the Middle East, the Far East, the Balkans, and, yes, in Iraq.

In A Shattered Peace, veteran foreign correspondent David A. Andelman takes a fresh new look at the Treaty of Versailles as the point of origin for many of today's most critical international issues. This revealing history exposes the powerful lessons that a six-month period in a long ago era has for us today.

Andelman turns the spotlight on the many errors committed by the peacemakers that led to crises and bloodshed from Algeria to Kosovo and wars from Israel to Vietnam. Focusing on the small nations and minor players at the negotiations, including figures such as Ho Chi Minh and Charles de Gaulle who would later become boldfaced names, he traces the outcome of the deliberations through the history of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. His conclusion is ominous: not only did the paternalism, ignorance, and self-serving approach of the Great Powers who sculpted the treaty lead to disastrous consequences that were predicted at the time, but current policies of the world's developed nations frequently repeat and reaffirm the same mistakes.

Andelman also paints a vivid picture of the glittering and often chaotic social whirl that accompanied the negotiations. Elsa Maxwell threw her first party; young Franklin Delano Roosevelt flirted with Parisian widows to the humiliation of his wife, Eleanor; princesses and young gentlemen in formal attire danced gaily to the hot new sound of American jazz—all this as prime ministers Georges Clemenceau and David Lloyd George ogled huge maps, dividing up territories and cementing their nations' positions as leading world powers for decades to come.

Complete with insightful quotations from the diaries and correspondence of participants and previously unpublished photographs of the proceedings and their surroundings, A Shattered Peace will change the way you think about twentieth-century history, its influence on current events, and where we should go from here.

Edwin B. Burgess - Library Journal

The Versailles peace conference, held between the Allied victorious powers and Germany following World War I, attempted to create a lasting peace-and parcel out the world. The great powers felt that they should inherit much of it; inhabitants of the countries to be parceled out felt otherwise. The shortsightedness of the conferees produced a world that fragmented in unexpected ways and arguably generated a century of continuous conflict. With chapters on some of those present, such as the young Ho Chi Min, on the shared goals of Emir Feisal and Chaim Weizmann, and on the abortive stab at making peace in revolutionary Russia, Andelman (executive editor, Forbes.com) casts a bitter light on the rest of the 20th century. The author's constant theme is that the failures of the Versailles conference laid the groundwork for World War II, the iron curtain, the Vietnam War, the various Middle East conflicts, and the Balkan wars. Andelman's sprightly view of the peace process, the major and minor players, and the decades-later outcomes is an excellent read that will enhance most history collections. Recommended for most subject collections.